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A couple wearing protective face masks ride their bicycle in a deserted street before the 9pm city-wide night time curfew during the coronavirus. Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Several U.S. cities and European governments imposed new restrictions Wednesday to curb the spikes in COVID-19 cases, such as closing restaurants, bars and limiting social gatherings.

In the U.S.:

  • Illinois' governor banned indoor dining and drinking in Chicago.
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio implored residents not to travel out of state during the holiday season, noting that many other parts of the country have "skyrocketing levels of the coronavirus," the Washington Post reports.
  • Denver tightened its restaurant and social gathering restrictions as the state asked the city's schools to consider hybrid or all virtual learning.
  • El Paso announced a two-week shutdown of nonessential services starting Thursday as the city's hospitals hit capacity and medical workers are overwhelmed, according to the El Paso Times.

Internationally:

  • Austria announced a four-week nighttime curfew and the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants as coronavirus infections as another surge of new coronavirus infection
  • Greece announced that most of the country will resume a coronavirus lockdown starting Tuesday, including closing restaurants, bars, cafes, movie theaters and gyms.
  • Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths.
  • France reached a record level of more than 50,000 new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period over the weekend. Non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, will close, while schools and factories will remain open.
  • Germany will close bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November.
  • Russia imposed a mask mandate Tuesday.
  • Belgium has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the EU, as the country debates imposing a new national lockdown.
  • Italy's restrictions on restaurants, gyms, pools and theaters in the Lombardy and Campania regions has been met with protests, per AP.
  • Portugal's government placed lockdown restrictions on most of the country, including to stay-at-home orders except for work, school or shopping. It order companies to switch to remote working, according to Reuters.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated Jul 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Benefits of J&J COVID-19 vaccine outweigh risks, per CDC data — Why vaccinated America can't turn its back on unvaccinated America.
  2. Health: A reality check on the GOP's push for coronavirus antibody testing — NYC to require COVID vaccination or weekly testing for city workers — Over 50 medical groups call for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers — Savannah reimposes indoor mask mandate.
  3. Politics: Biden: Americans with long-COVID symptoms may qualify for disability resources — Prominent Republicans find new enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccines — GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time.
  4. Sports: Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will miss Olympics after testing positive for COVID— NFL raises vaccine pressure
  5. World: Israel to require vaccine certificates to attend social events.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.